This is something I never thought I’d share with anyone but my husband. However, this past weekend has made me a little CRAZY!!! Yes, I’m pushing forty. Yes, the majority of women my age have kids. No, I do not have kids. I am not a mother. I have two cats and a dog. None of them are my children or furbabies as so many people like to say. They are my roommates and friends. Although sometimes they seem more like very affectionate squatters as they don’t pay their share of the bills. So please stop whishing me a happy mothers day! This only makes me feel “less than.”
I feel like less than a woman when you say this to me. I am not one of those people who chose not to have children because of MS diagnosis…though I was for a while. After having a life changing procedure to treat CCSVI (chronic cerebral veinous insufficiency) in 2011, I was suddenly the person I’d been 10 years prior. I had come back from SPMS (Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis), to be rediagnosed with RRMS (Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis). The Neurologists called it spontaneous remission. But that’s for another post.
All this new found energy made me know that I could deal with having a child. If things got worse again I could deal with that too. (I have an incredibly loving and supportive husband) Also, I decided that being diagnosed with a chronic illness should not be a reason not to have children. My mind had changed and now I wanted a baby. All my friends, also late bloomers, were getting pregnant and there were babies everywhere. I got baby fever!
So for the next 2 years my husband and I tried. And tried. And tried to get pregnant. When this didn’t work we went to a fertility clinic. Had all the tests. I had cervical stenosis, this was fixed everything else inside me was working just fine. However there were more test results to come. Turns out my egg count was low and my husbands sperm morphology was beyond bad. We were put on some supplements and were told to come back for more tests in three months. During this time my father passed away. A month later I was pregnant and beyond the moon happy!
Everything was going great! I felt good, other than the occational nausea. At ten weeks I went for my first ultrasound. I was so excited. My appointment did not go as planned. I had been to first ultrasounds with friends and knew what to expect. A blob on the screen with a tiny beating heart. I couldn’t wait! My Mom was in the waiting room until she was allowed to come in and see the first look at my little miracle.
I knew something was wrong when the technition asked if I was sure I was10 weeks along. I was positive sinceI had been tracking everything for years now. She said something about wanting to get a better view. she turned the screen away from me and told me she would have to do an internal ultrasound. I was totally comfortable with this because once you been to a fertility clinic you are used to having foreign objects placed inside you!
So the internal started. She had me pushing on places had my pelvis propped at a very uncomfortable angle and it went on for a very long time. She then says that she needed a second opinion. She assured me this was normal and sent me to a change room to wait for the lead technition to get back from lunch. While I’m sitting in the change room, heart racing, mind spinning, I overhear the receptionist say that there was a second opinion needed on an ultrasound because they couldn’t find a heartbeat. I was devastated!
The second technition would barely look at me, was all business and refused to answer any of the questions I asked by pointing at a sign that stated that technition were not able to interpret ultrasounds and you needed to wait for your doctor gets the results. This was a Friday afternoon. There would be no answers until Tuesday. I left in tears knowing there was no heartbeat, but hoping I was wrong and overheard a conversation about someone elses ultrasound.
My Mom immediately returned to the clinic after sitting me on a bench in the hallway. She demanded results! They couldn’t give them. They said my only other choice was to go to the emergency room. I wasn’t bleeding, wasn’t cramping, it really didn’t seem like an emergency and I don’t like to bother doctors with real emergencies to deal with so I decided to wait it out until Tuesday.
That Saturday one of my second cousins was getting married. I really didn’t want to miss it. So I went, and didn’t drink, hoping that somehow I was still pregnant and that the ultrasound had made some kind of mistake. Miracles happen for those who believe, so I believed. My husband got blissfully drunk! Suprisingly, I’m very good at compartamentalizing and had a great time at the wedding! As soon as I returned home I commenced my depression.
We waited until Tuesday and my husband took the day off work to come to my appointment with me. My doctor (a crazily uncompassionate woman) walked in the room and the first thing she said to me was, “What is he doing here?” I said for moral support so she proceeded to giveme a pamphlet about losing you baby without telling me anything about my results. I told her they wouldn’t tell me anything at the clinc and asked wht happened.
She proceeded to tell me that I had what was called a missed miscarriage. A term I had never heard before. What it meant was that at 7 1/2 weeks my baby stopped growing (died) but my body didn’t realise it and that was why I wasn’t bleeding yet. She sent me home and told me I would start to bleed anytime now and just to wait for my body to do what it’s supposed to. As someone who doesn’t like taking medication that is not totally necessary I thought this was a great idea. besides isn’t that what happens naturally when you lose a baby?
Two weeks later I finally started spotting, and my pregnancy hormne levels were steadily dropping. Things seemed to be working on their own so I waited. I was spotting for months, when it finally stopped and for ten days I thought it was over and when I started bleeding again I thought it was my period returning. When the bleeding continued for another 2 weeks I returned to my doctor.
She sent me for bloodwork and another internal ultrasound. the bloodwork came back normal, no pregnancy hormone left in my body. The ultrasound on the other hand showed I still had products of conception lodged in my cervix, holding it open, causing the spotting. I was in shock, I miscarried in the beginning of November, It was now February and I was still carrying around my miscarried baby. I wassent to emergency immediately where they gaveme pills to makeme miscarry fully. If I was still bleeding after two days I was to return to emergency. I had no idea the human body could lose so much blood and keep living. I thought for sure this had worked. Somehow my body just wasn’t willing to give up. I kept bleeding and returned to the hospital where I was booked for an emergency D&C. (dilation and curettage)
You’d think it was over but I spotted and cramped for the next two weeks culminating in me passing a large blood clot which I took back to the emergency. They did another ultrasound and finally everything was gone. Now I could finally start trying to get pregnant again.
This all happened about 2 years ago. I have not been pregnant again and upon going to a second fertility clinic was informed that our chances of getting pregnant without help are less that 2% and with help, IVF (in vitro fertilization) our chances were still less than 10%.
We decided not to do anything and if it is meant to be, I will be a mother someday. If not then we live without children. Which believe me isn’t the worst hing in the world. We do have much more freedom than our friends who are parents. Like when I need a nap, there is nothing stopping me from taking one.
So when someone says, Happy Mothers Day to me, or gives me a mothers day flower at a restaurant because I am of child bearing age, it stings. It hurts because, no I am not a mother, but wish I was. Years ago, before my fertility problems I never thought twice about asking someone if they were planning on having children. Now I realise how invasive this question really is. You never know what is secretly going on in someones life.
To all the mothers out there, I hope your mothers day was wonderful. And to those of you who feel the need to wish me a happy mothers day, please don’t. I know you mean it as a compliment, like I would make a great mother or something. The thing is I know this…but it doesn’t make me feel any better.